There are several reasons why you might experience pregnancy pains related to muscle, joint and nerve. Depending on where the pain is, the intensity of the pain and the type of pain will determine the best course of action to resolve your pain. If the following exercises don’t help or if your pain is intense, please get a consultation for personalised advice or visit your doctor. Furthermore If you are unsure of why you have pain (i.e. it’s an unfamiliar pain), if this is your first pregnancy or if your pain is severe, sharp, shooting, throbbing or deep you should see your doctor or specialist before all else.
Low Back Pain
This is the most common pregnancy pain we see at the clinic. The pain is usually right on the dimples at the very bottom of the low back. Sometimes there is referral up and down or across the low back as well. From how long women leave it before seeking treatment, I sense that there is a lot of pregnant ladies putting up with low back pain unnecessarily. Although low back pain is a common part of pregnancy and a lot of women experience it, this doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Here in the clinic we find treating the gluteal and hip flexor trigger points together with some exercises and sometimes ROCK taping very effective. We treat either lying on your back, side lying or face down with a supportive belly pillow depending on how far along with your pregnancy you are, what area we are treating and depending on what you find most comfortable. We won’t keep you in any one position for too long and we will support you with pillows and towels where needed.
Try this exercise at home to see if it helps with your low back pain. Its purpose is to gently mobilise the spine allowing all the ligaments, tendons and muscles to get some blood flow and relax. If one way feels better than the other, you could try just doing one part of the cat stretch and finishing back at neutral spine (where the spine is in its natural position with the little dip in the low back).
On hands and knees gently curve your back towards the roof like you are trying to lengthen the back of your shirt. Make sure you softly drop your head as you get to the end of range.
Now do the opposite. Gently dip your stomach and ribs towards the floor this time softly lifting the head as you reach the end of your range.
Repeat 5-10 repetitions. Once you get the pattern working try moving one spinal segment at a time starting at the base of the spine and working your way up to the head. Try adding a breath, breathe out to move and take a breath in to prepare at either end.
Depending on how far into your pregnancy you are, the pregnancy rib pain your experiencing could likely be your baby pressing up against your rib cage, especially in your 3rd trimester if your baby is in the breech position. If this is the case, positional changes, heat and if really bad pain, paracetamol (at the recommendation of your doctor or specialist only) might be of assistance. The most common musculoskeletal cause of rib pain we see in the clinic however is from the change in spinal position. This is from changes to your centre of gravity along with increased levels of the hormone relaxin. This makes the deep supportive spinal muscles (multifidis & rotators) work harder and in a shortened position which activates their Trigger Points which so happen to refer around the ribs. If your pain seems to start at the back or side of the ribs and run around towards the front, this is the most likely cause of your pain. To help alleviate this pain at home, try the following stretch.
Side Lying Rib Rotations
Lie on your side and support yourself with pillows, cushions or towels as needed. One under the head, under the belly and between the knees is often helpful.
Bend your elbow of the arm that’s on top, drawing the elbow to the roof and sliding your hand along the lower arm.
If it feels comfortable open out further by extending the arm behind you until you feel a gentle stretch around the chest area.
Bend the elbow to gently bring the arm back through to the start position.
Repeat 10-15 times each side.
Notes: Shorter limbs make for lighter work, so always start with the elbow bent and lengthen it to increase the exercise. Don’t forget to breathe! Try a breath in for step 2 and a breath out for step 3. Then a breath in to hold and a breath out to come back to the start position.
Sciatica is a very common pregnancy pain. It can come from the lower back or from a deep muscle in your bottom called the piriformis muscle. Sciatica is distinguished by a pain starting around the bottom or hip area and travelling down the leg past the knee, sometimes as far as the ankle or the foot. During pregnancy the hormone relaxin increases making the ligaments soften. This increases the amount of load placed on your muscles, sometimes the muscles can cause the problem, other times you can end up hanging into new postural positions and putting a lot of strain on the joints especially around the lower back and hips which can aggravate the discs or nerve spaces in the lower back. We treat sciatica a lot in the clinic. Try the following exercise for the back and see if it helps.
4 point kneeling – The rock back
On your hands and knees make sure your hands are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. Also make sure you are in neutral spine (no dip, no curve).
Gently rock back towards your feet about half way then slowly return to the start position.
Repeat 10 -20 times remembering to maintain neutral spine the entire time.
There are several things that can cause hip and groin pregnancy pain depending on where the pain is therefore it is essential that you get a proper diagnosis before progressing with any exercises or stretches to help. A more serious causes of pain in this area is a DVT or deep vein thrombosis which is a type of blood clot. Some other things that can cause pain in this area are the round ligament, osteitis pubis, pubic symphysis irritation or inflammation and referral from the lower back.
In the clinic we mostly see people with pain relating to an imbalance of muscles around the pelvis and low back. Due to being right or left dominant in stance and exercises we tend to be a bit stronger on one side. As the relaxin hormone kicks in these muscles have to support your pregnant body more and more. If some muscles are stronger than others they start to play a game of tug of war which can cause pain in many different areas. We get people in who have already been diagnosed with things such as symphysis pubis, osteitis pubis, lower back disc irritation and round ligament pain just to name a few. Most people we see have more general aches and pains through the glutes, hips and groin and have not yet had a musculoskeletal diagnosis. We find either way, it comes back to this imbalance of muscles so our assessment, treatment and prescribed exercises will revolve around loosening off the tight muscles and strengthening the weak muscles. If there is inflammation we might use taping to help support to give the area a chance to heal. Taping is very safe during pregnancy unlike many anti-inflammatory medications.
One of the most common exercises I give to pregnant women is to strengthen their glutes and hamstrings. If you are still comfortable lying on your back try the first exercise, otherwise try the side lying exercise.
Pelvic Curl with Thera-band
Tie the band firmly around your thighs and lie on your back.
Place your knees and feet approximately hip width apart. Make sure your knee heights are the same before continuing, we want everything in alignment.
Next imagine dots on your shirt and pants where your spinal segments are. What colour are your dots?!
Press with 50% effort out into the band and peel one dot at a time away from the floor starting at the bottom and working you way up to your shoulders. This should take about a 5 seconds and is nice to do on a breath out.
Take a breath in at the top to prepare.
Breathe out to slowly return the dots back down to the mat, this time starting at your shoulders and working down towards your bottom, try not to skip the lower back and maintain the pressure out into the band if you can.
Repeat 5 repetitions the first time you do it and see how you feel the following day. Slowly add an extra repetition each day until you are doing 20 a day.
Sidelying leg kick with Thera-band
Tie the band around your thighs just above your knee and lie on your side supporting yourself with pillows particularly for the head and your belly.
Lift your leg to hip height then keeping your body steady, squeeze your glute muscles to take the leg behind you about 5-10 cms depending on your flexibility.
Slowly return it back to the start position and repeat 5 times each side. If you feel good the next day you can add 1 repetition each day until you are doing 20 each side.
I hope you’ve gotten something out of todays article on pregnancy pain. Please remember that these are not tailored exercises for you specifically so if your pain persists or gets worse please come in and see us or if serious problems with your doctor or specialist. Here at Waverley Myotherapy Clinic we use a pregnancy pillow so you may be able to lie face down, a real treat during pregnancy! Once you are too big for the pregnancy pillow we will support you with pillows in the sidelying position. If you have any questions please contact us.
Have you ever experienced low back pain that is also a pain in your Bottom?
When LBP strikes it is hard to know what to do or how to become pain free again. Clinical Myotherapist Dwan Rosairo explains Lower back and leg referral pain to you!
What and why?
LBP at any stage of life is inconvenient!
Generally speaking, its due to repetitive movement and has a gradual onset. Sometimes though, it occurs due to a sudden movement when gardening or picking washing up off the floor. This added load on your muscles, joints and nerves/ nervous system makes your body go into a protective spams to try protective itself. You then feel pain that can sometimes leave you feeling quite “stuck”.
You may think your leg or Gluteal muscle is the problem because thats where you feel it. It is very common for the primary cause of your leg pain to be your LB.
There are multiple forms and causes of LBP so it is always a good idea to seek professional advice to see exactly what treatment and exercises are going to be right for you.
The pain cycle begins from an the initial injury and continues until there is a treatment that tells it otherwise. Early intervention is key into breaking your pain cycle quickly and efficiently.
Assessment of your Lower spine is done through Orthopaedic tests and movement.
Mckenzie Method is used at Myothrive clinic to restore the fault of movement and interrupt your pain cycle. The Mckenzie Method is repeated movement into your end range testing, together with sustained postural loading to determine the effect on your symptoms. The therapist is trained to interpret the effect of these movements and postures on your symptoms and hopefully use an “easing” movement to decrease your pain. The method is empowering as it allows you to take control of your pain symptoms and treatment plan. If you are experiencing pain down your legs or into your hip, we want the movement we prescribe you to to move and centralise to make it easier to get rid off all together.
What is TOS and how do us myo’s treat it? That’s what today’s blog is all about! If you have any hand or arm symptoms such as pain, numbness or tingling even if it only occurs at night it would be worthwhile having a read.
What is TOS?
Thoracic outlet syndrome is where the blood vessels and/or nerves become squashed between the first rib and the clavicle. This can result in numbness, tingling or pain in the neck, shoulder, arm or hand or a combination of symptoms in a combination of areas on down the same arm. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms it can be diagnosed and treated. It usually takes a month or two to resolve. If your symptoms are severe we suggest going straight to a medical practitioner for scans and specialist opinion however if your symptoms are moderate or mild Myotherapy may be a quicker and cheaper alternative to alleviating your pain.
How does Myotherapy treat TOS?
We will first do some clinical assessment including a neural assessment to check what is causing your symptoms. Sometimes even though you have the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome, your pain and symptoms can be coming from elsewhere such as carpal tunnel, from the neck of referred pain and tingling from trigger points around the shoulder, neck, arm or forearm. Once we determine the true cause for your symptoms we can usually do some treatment straight away.
The treatment for TOS specifically involves treating the muscles and mobilising the joints involved in drawing the first rib and the clavicle closer together. These might include the scalenes or the pectoralis minor for example. Next we will work with you to develop a plan so it doesn’t become a recurring theme. This may involve simply identifying the cause and changing some habits however it may also include some home based exercises, self treatment with a self release tool or some specific exercises you will need to do under supervision. We take into account your busy lifestyle so don’t worry that you’re going to go home with a long list of exercises.
What is the best home treatment for TOS?
Want to try something at home to help? Find us on instagram or facebook @myothrive for tips such as spiky ball release for the pectoralis minor muscle. Because the pec minor attaches from the coracoid process which sits just under the collar bone, and then down onto the first couple of ribs, when it gets tight and short, it can lift the rib cage up causing a narrow space for the nerve, artery and vein to pass through. By gently releasing the muscle we can allow the rib cage to drop back to it’s usual resting place and give more space to the blood vessels and nerves. Overdoing this one will leave you feeling bruised so take it slow for best results.
If you want to organise a chat with one of the Myotherapists here at Myothrive, simply email us at [email protected] and we can organise a time. Want to book now? Here’s the link!
The elbow joint is made up of the humerus, radius and ulna bones with muscle and tendon support from forearm and upper arm muscles crossing the joint at the front, back and sides. Deeper down ligaments also offer support on both sides. We also have 3 nerves (radial, median & ulnar nerves) crossing the elbow […]
Yes, please help me improve my squat! Here’s a few mistakes we commonly see in the clinic with customers squats. Improving your technique can lead to reduced pain & better strength gains! Make sure you check out instagram or facebook @myothrive for more tips on squatting. Squat Tip 1: Tucky Bum This is a common […]
WHAT IS IT? Did you know Sciatica or Sciatic Nerve pain is a term used to describe a set of symptoms caused by an underlying medical condition; it is not a medical diagnosis. It may refer to a sharp or burning pain that radiates down the legs from the buttocks. For you to have true Sciatica, […]
Just like adults, children and adolescents can also experience musculoskeletal imbalances, conditions and pain. So how do you tell what your child is going through and what health professional to take them to?
If you child has been complaining of severe pain following a fall or injury it may be worth a visit to the doctor to rule out a fracture. If you’re not sure, come to us first to avoid exposing your child unnecessarily to radiation associated with scans. We will be able to assess whether it’s something that needs further investigation.
Other pain in children or adolescent that may be encountered include; growing pains, sprains and strains, muscle cramps, tight muscles from sport, joint alignment issues, scoliosis and other conditions such as childhood forms of arthritis. Some of these conditions we will be able to treat and some we will need to refer to your doctor or a specialist.
So how exactly can a Myotherapist help?
Step 1. Assessment
The first step in treating pain in children is to talking to your child about their pain complaint. Sometimes they need a bit of help from you (parent or guardian) but we try to develop a good relationship with your child by encouraging good communication with us directly. We might ask questions about your child’s pain; how long as the complaint been occurring? How long does the pain typically last when it comes on? Have you had this in the past? What type of pain (or can you think of another time you have had this kind of pain)? When do you notice it the most? Is there anything that relieves the pain?
Once we have an understanding of what has been going on, it gives us ideas of what things to check. This helps us rule out more serious conditions or confirm something that we can treat on the day. The assessment might be getting them to do a specific movement, it might include testing joint, nerve or muscle or getting them to do an exercise to see if it helps.
If we find something we are unsure of we will refer you to the appropriate health care professional such as a GP. If we find something we can help with we will move on to the treatment phase of the consultation.
Step 2. Treatment
With pain in children and adolescents, it’s really important to try to empower them to learn about their bodies and treat themselves. That’s why we try to stay as hands-off as possible. Treatment will usually start with specialised movement therapy or instructing them where to place a spiky ball to help. Upon reassessment if progression is slow then we will become more hands on. This hands on treatment may include joint mobilisation (not cracking), dry needling (if when discussed child and parent is not apprehensive), trigger point therapy and massage/myofascial release techniques.
Sometimes treatment will include a few different approaches but rest assured we will always explain what we’ve found and discuss the treatment plan with you as we go. We then like to retest and make adjustments throughout the treatment to make sure the pain is reducing and the range of movement is increasing. Again always discussing with your child and yourself as we go.
Step 3. Management
Next we will talk about things that are going to be helpful at home for your child’s pain complaint, we like to call this a “Remedy Routine”. This may include applying heat or ice to an affected area. It may include and exercise to stretch or strengthen, mobilise or align. It may include self treatment with a spiky ball or foam roller, it may include a care plan where we check in on their musculoskeletal complaint more regularly (this is ideal for more persistent problems). We will also answer any questions you have and make sure we have set an achievable plan that will fit into their schedule and into your life as a parent/guardian too.
We have built great professional relationships with some local sporting clubs including a gymnastics and acro club, a cricket club and some dance studios.
The clubs find their members are away less from injury when working with us and the parents find they are more confident in the clubs because they know we can offer advice and help out where needed.
We have been treating pain in children and adolescents since starting the Mount Waverley clinic in 2012. Over the years we’ve found the most common issues are posture at school and when doing study at home; not understanding how to control their bodies properly for particular sports or activities; and overuse from having breaks over school holidays, for example, then amping up training regimes when returning from the break. If this sounds like your child then get in contact and find out more about how we can help 🙂
We believe keeping your children active and happy is important to their overall health & development.
Just remember, persistent pain in children is not normal and should always be checked out. Email [email protected] if you have a specific question or click here to make a face to face or virtual booking. Virtual consultations are great for kids because we get to see their environment where they study or play and give them exercises that they can comfortably do at home. Best of all you don’t have to drive them to another appointment!
Why is my ankle stability important? Whether you enjoy running, gymnastics, lifting weights or walking the dogs, ankle stability is important. Even moving from standing to sitting and vice versa requires some ankle mobility and stability. We want your ankles to be strong and flexible. Keep reading to learn how to test your ankles and […]
I’ve labelled this blog Myotherapy & Osteopathy because they work so well together. I personally get a Osteopath treatment every 1-3 months and I get a Myotherapy session every 2-6 weeks depending on how much training I’m doing and if I have any niggles from old injuries. Many of our current patients use both Myotherapy […]
Ever wondered why you are at your sorest 24 to 48 hours after a workout? That’s DOMS. Ever left the personal training session feeling great only to feel tight and stiff after 6 to 8 hours? That’s DOMS. Remember those times you went “Yep that was a tough legs session yesterday”? That’s DOMS!
The reason behind this is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS, which occurs anywhere in the body which has been exposed to unfamiliar, unaccustomed, intense physical activity.
What is DOMS?
DOMS is caused by micro tears in the myofibrils (muscle fibres) resulting in micro-trauma. This increase in the inflammatory response alters intramuscular fluid and electrolytes and is a good thing as it is an important part of building new muscle. Not so good, it can also cause a dull ache anywhere from 6 to 48 hours post exercise in the affected muscles.
5 ways to reduce the affects
There are some simple ways to decrease the effects of DOMS after a tough workout.
1. Active Rest
Nothing is better than rest, promoting tissue healing and recovery. If you have worked to failure you should wait 72 hours before working to failure again, however we recommend light or different exercise as recovery such as swimming, walking or a easy gym workout.
This can prevent the cycle of progression to DOMS. There are several different stretching techniques, you could try the different ones to see which type works best for you. For more information on stretching search our blog posts, we have lots of ideas for shoulders, pecs and calves to name a few. Pro tip for when you are looking up stretches: Dynamic stretching is typically done before a workout whereas holding a stretch or doing a contract-relax style stretch can be safely performed post workout. For professional advice tailored to you, click here to see one of our Myotherapists.
May reduce the amount of inflammation that occurs and help promote a faster recovery. Typically an ice bath is the way to get the full body anti-inflammatory benefits. This is great for post sporting style exercise where you are constantly pushing yourself but not necessary post gym workouts where you want a bit of inflammation to help grow the muscle and get the gains you are after. A cold shower will work best in this instance.
Increases blood flow to aching muscles to promote healing and removal of waste products within the muscle tissue like lactic acid and scar tissue. Typically it is a lighter, non treatment massage. Our Myotherapy team can help if you need some healing hands. Click here to find a time that suits you best.
Natural remedies or anti-inflammatory medication can reduce the soreness after a workout. Some natural remedies include; tumeric, cinammon and magnesium just to name a few. For more information on these, we suggest you talk to a good nutritionist or dietitian on how to get these foods naturally into your diet, it’s yummier that way!
If you have any post workout tips we would love to hear about them! Reach out on social. We are on instagram and facebook.
Foam rollers have been on the scene for a while now. There are new kids on the block such as the rumble roller and the power stick to name a few. However; there are some ways of using the foam roller that just doesn’t work so well with the other kinds of myofascial release tools so if you want to minimise the amount of myofascial release tools you have lying around your house, a full length foam roller is a good buy. Here are our top 4 ways to use your foam roller.
1. More than just massage
The foam roller can be used for self massage in a lot of areas of the body including the legs and back to name a few.
It can also be used for stretching the chest, stretching the hip flexors, perform balancing exercises and strengthen the lower abdominals! It is very versatile which when considering what product to buy is a huge plus. If you were only going to buy one tool, compared to a spikey ball or a rumble roller, the foam roller is definitely a winner!
2. Save you money
Foam rolling regularly on you predetermined tight areas, combined with the right stretches and some prescribed strengthening exercises, can definitely reduce the amount of trips you might need to your musculoskeletal care person. In the long run it might save you a few bucks! Talk to us about putting a program together that’s right for you. Book online here.
3. Perform better at work, hobbies and sports
When foam roller exercises are part of a program to enhance correct postural alignment or to assist the correct muscle development set for a specific sport it can really make a difference to how you perform.
For example, a runner with tight hip flexors…The push off phase of running is the part where the back of the leg needs to do the work and the front of the leg needs to start to lengthen. If you have tight hip flexors it doesn’t allow your leg to come into the correct alignment meaning you end up using all the wrong muscles and over working those that are switching on. By foam rolling and actively stretching the hip flexors before a run you’re making sure the muscles, joints and nerves are ready to perform at their peak.
At work if your posture is better you will be able to perform your duties for longer without fatiguing or pain, whether it’s a standing or a sitting job. And hobbies much the same, you will be able to do longer sessions of the things you love without having to worry about pain the next day, a good example of this is gardening. Have you ever woken the next day with a tight low back after gardening? You should be able to enjoy what you love without struggle and without pain, this is what the foam roller combined with the right advice can do for you.
4. Relieve stress
I think most of us are aware of how good it feels to release endorphins and other “feel good” hormones. You can release endorphins and other calming neurotransmitters when you foam roll. It can also be quite meditative depending on your environment. Some of my customers do their routine at night before bed. They find a quite spot where they have a block of time to themselves. They might play some music and turn down the lights to promote higher levels of melatonin to kick in. It’s about finding what works for you but some of them are counting out of how many reps they are doing, some focus on their breathing, some focus on the sensation of their muscles beginning to soften beneath the roller.
Want some ideas of what to do on the foam roller? Check out our youtube channel or this video specifically which has a foam roller routine you can follow along to.
Did you know a Myotherapist can help with pain, restriction and conditions of muscles, joints and nerves. We can assess, treat and prescribe movement therapy to help you feel better and learn how to treat yourself! Click here to find a time that suits you best.